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Neglected Shops

iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1673


« on: January 22, 2012, 12:16:00 pm »

Hello iCraft Sellers,

In a few days we are going to introduce new change affecting all stores, where sellers have not logged-in on iCraft in more than 6 months.
As you know, we are already displaying this message on some product pages.



However, people can still buy those products.
To protect our buyers, we are now going to remove "Add to Bag" and "Request Custom Order" buttons on those pages. The only option buyers will have is to Contact the seller to check for Availability of that product.

Other added "benefits" for neglected stores:
  • After 6 months of inactivity, we'll push those products to the bottom of search results.
  • None of those products will be featured on the site, our newsletter or in any other advertising.
  • After a year of inactivity, we'll place those products on hold.
  • After two years of inactivity, we'll delete those products from our system.

So make sure you check on your store, at least, once in 6 months.
Thank you!
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 03:52:13 pm by iCraft Admin »
Fairy Cardmaker


Posts: 1115


« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2012, 02:17:47 pm »

This sounds good.

What if I have logged in within the last six months but I haven't updated some products in a year.  Is it based only on seller login (meaning the age of my listing won't put it on hold)?
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1673


« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2012, 03:51:58 pm »

Exactly! As long as you login and check on your listings, even without making any changes, we assume all of them are still ok.
PillowThrowDecor


Posts: 1096


« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 05:18:39 pm »

Weeding out  inactive sellers is a good idea and long overdue.

Well I am full of opinions today so I will jump in and duck when I leave this page Smiley

Warning a buyer that a seller has not updated their shop in more than 6 months  is good for consumer protection but may shake their confidence on shopping this site if they see the message more than once. After 6 months of total inactivity the shop and the products should be totally deleted!

Sellers with the FREE accounts should be REQUIRED to sign in every month. Icraft could automate monthly reminders. These emails would not be an opt-in/out option on seller sign up.   Failure for a seller to respond with a sign in after 3 months, would then get 3 monthly emails, with a warning of getting their shop and products deleted, failing some kind of response. After 6 months, shop and products should be deleted from public view

Inactives make a bad impression for
a) new sellers considering opening a store
b) buyers considering spending money
c) Google bots and other search engines

... Assuming there has been logarithm balance between relevancy and recency,  couldn't new and updated items be given slightly higher weighting/ higher ranking right from the get-go.

Of course I haven't a clue what all the other considerations icraft admin has had to think about I'm just glad that they/you are taking an assertive position with "dead wood". I would like to see you crank up the heat,  sooner, and higher.

My point of mention is to not necessarily punish those who don't sign-in and update but to encourage/reward those that do.

Just my mouthy two cents worth... and now I am off to update Smiley             
Cheers Christine 
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1673


« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2012, 11:15:07 pm »

Hi Christine,

Wow, you are full of ideas.  Nice to see you back.   Grin
I'll try to explain our approach better.

1. We want to weed out "dead wood" gradually.
Sudden drop in the number of pages may negatively affect our rankings. With the redesign, we are already introducing a lot of changes in a short period of time, so we want to carefully monitor everything we do.

2. Agree about A & B. That message doesn't inspire confidence in either buyers or sellers. That's why we are starting to slowly implement mechanisms for dealing with inactive sellers. For now, we'll just push both neglected shops and old product listing right to the bottom of search results.

3. C - Search engines like fresh and frequently updated content and often rank it higher. So it's great that you keep updating your pages frequently.
However, they will still index and display in search results pages that have not been updated in a long time, as long as they find them relevant. Otherwise, a lot of "evergreen" content that doesn't require frequent updates, would never appear in search. So those old listings will still bring in some traffic. Hopefully, people will find some other products to purchase, after landing on those pages.
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1673


« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2012, 11:21:36 pm »

Oh, forgot to mention - we are already sending monthly reminders to those who didn't update their stores in more than 6 months.

And we are phasing out this year Free Subscription option completely.
Northern Girl Jewelry


Posts: 199


« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 08:44:57 am »

I think this is a good thing.

I know that I have frequently read in the Etsy forums that people that have signed up for free shops everywhere and forget that they have set up a shop somewhere.  So getting rid of those neglected shops will be good for everyone. 

Beajoux


Posts: 78


« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2012, 10:06:14 pm »

Hi,

I do have a free shop. I have had subscriptions in the past, but I've been holding off re-subscribing to see the changes that iCraft has been promising since last July. (See "new shop design" post here: https://icraftgifts.com/forum/1401/new-shop-design/.)

I do log in more than just every six months and I do update my listings, but not all the time. I love the fact that this is a Canadian enterprise and I really would like to keep a shop here, but I'm frustrated by the constant postings of "the new design will be ready any day now". The last post was that it would be ready by the end of last week.  I just went to the front page and there was "Tara and James" once again (who, by the way, also keeps only 5 listings). Maybe there wouldn't be so many abandoned shops if iCraft could please, please, at the very least, just change those banner pictures. Maybe it isn't the abandoned shops that drive buyers away, but the fact that half of those big banner pictures are showing listings that don't exist anymore.

Apologies if I sound nasty, it's not my intent. Yes, I agree iCraft shouldn't have to keep abandoned shops, but it also can't promote them (or non-existent listings) on the front page either. It seems to be a vicious circle.

Ainsley
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1673


« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2012, 01:22:57 am »

Hi Ainsley,

I totally understand your frustration.
It's hard for us to hold back on the fixes to the current site and the release of the new site, when so much has been done. We are still working on fixing various things on the new site. However, we could use your help with testing.
Read this post about testing the new site.

We are looking into updating banner on the current site too, since all the delays.  Embarrassed

 
Beajoux


Posts: 78


« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2012, 11:32:55 am »

Sounds great, I appreciate the opportunity!

Ainsley
PillowThrowDecor


Posts: 1096


« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2012, 03:40:14 pm »

Looking forward to seeing all the new changes in the new site.

Having suggested weeding out dead wood (inactive sellers) it reminded me about cleaning up/ weeding out my shop.  I have started replacing some of the ugly ducks that I have had in my store. Hard to imagine ugly pillows!!! I think they were just badly photographed Smiley

Anyways... my point of mention here is that I  (and probably a few others) need to add new color and new items to my shop.

Wow can you imagine if we all increased the number of items in our shops by say 15 to 20%?

Hmmm... new challenge here?

Cheers
Christine
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1673


« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2012, 03:42:22 pm »

Btw, we updated 7 banners on the current site. No broken links for now...  Smiley
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 03:54:31 pm by iCraft Admin »
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1673


« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2012, 03:54:13 pm »

Hi Christine,

Updating old listings is a good idea. To make sure google counts your page changes as substantial, consider revising a few page elements, and not just one.

For example, add a few relevant keywords in product titles, upload a new (hopefully better) product shot, add a section in your product description about how your product should be cared for or suggest for which occasion or for whom your product is intended. Giving people ideas why they should buy your product is always helpful.

If you know your buyers, make sure you highlight product qualities that appeal to them. For example, if your product is meant for a guy, explain why guys would just love it... simple design, earth tones, no flowers ... I am just making this up, but you get the point, right?  Smiley
PillowThrowDecor


Posts: 1096


« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2012, 04:14:26 pm »

Fabulous suggestions!... I especially like hearing  what is good "bot-bait". Appreciate your insight!

Cheers
Christine
iCraft Admin


Administrator
Posts: 1673


« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2012, 11:21:51 pm »

Christine, forgot to comment on this point.

Anyways... my point of mention here is that I  (and probably a few others) need to add new color and new items to my shop.
Wow can you imagine if we all increased the number of items in our shops by say 15 to 20%?
Hmmm... new challenge here?

We think the problem with low number of products is in our Pricing model. What we were thinking (and feel free to comment on it) is to introduce a system which would allow unlimited postings, without free shops.

Option 1 would be to take 5% commission on sales, without listing/re-listing fees

Option 2 would be to introduce one subscription package, instead of three, of about $12/month for unlimited postings

Option 3 would be to offer both Option 1 and Option 2, both of which promote unlimited postings


We'd offer new sellers one month free, or something like that, to let them test-drive our system. For people who don't visit their stores, we already have a mechanism for putting their entire stores on hold.

We know for sure we are going to get rid of 5 free option. It's not helping us in increasing the number of products and limits sellers in getting enough traffic to their stores.

Any thoughts?
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